Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Children SHOULD Be A Reflection of Me

Excuse me...pardon me....'scuse me...

Woman with a soapbox coming through....

*Whew*  Thanks. That thing was getting heavy. Now's your chance to run, though, before I get started on my rant. Go on. Go now, before I start. It's kind of rude to leave after I've gotten into the groove, ya know?

Still here? Well, you were warned....

I was listening to the radio on my way into the office this morning. Nothing new in that. One of the DJ's (or I suppose we're supposed to call them "radio personalities" now..??) was talking about something she had read in the news recently that talked about how studies have shown that people with daughters have a higher divorce rate, as well as higher numbers of single mothers with daughters as opposed to sons.  The speculation was that women with daughters have a greater incentive to leave bad relationships so that they can set a good example of the "right" men to be in a relationship with. Certainly, that is something all mothers should aspire to teach their daughters.

But what about teaching our sons how to be the right kind of man?

Why is this something that only men can teach?  Why shouldn't mothers be equally responsible for teaching their sons how to treat women in general, and their life partners specifically? For that matter, mothers....how about setting a good example for your sons about what makes the "right" woman?

I want my sons to not only know and accept, but to embrace as right, that women should be able and encouraged to stand up for themselves. I want my sons to actively seek out women who openly support them in their dreams and promote their goals.  I want my sons to gravitate towards women who look beyond all the physical trappings (because as handsome as my boys are, that will only go so far) into the heart and soul of them. I want my sons to enter into relationships knowing that the strong ones, the good ones, can withstand some differences of opinion; and yes, even some arguing. I think my boys need to demonstrate their belief that it's okay to let your significant other have a personality that most likely will not mirror their own.

I want my sons to take this knowledge and these beliefs, and use them. I want my sons to show the important women in their lives that they are important as individual people as well as part of the relationship. I want the women in my sons' lives to know, deep into their souls, that they matter to my sons. And that because they matter, my boys will never be the kind of men that ever make a woman feel like less than she is or could be.

So tell me, mothers of daughters, why are you the only mothers held responsible for setting good examples for your children? Wouldn't you want your daughter to look for the kind of man my sons are going to grow into?

And shouldn't I be held just as accountable for those men as you will ultimately be for the woman your daughter grows into?

I think I should be.

5 comments:

Big Mark 243 said...

And that is why you are such the exception. First, so many women have chosen poorly in their choice of partner or husband that a growing boy has TWO bad examples to learn from. He then goes out and try to find a partner among a choice of women who likely have not learned what she need to know as far as having a good relationship.

Both girls and boys suffer from this. Sons of single Mothers see women as angry and bitter, or gullible and pawns. Girls learn how devious and manipulative men can be, because of their mother's experiences. It can either leave her embittered with the low expectations visited on her from her Moms or suceptible to being used as an enabler.

I don't know if this is clear or not, but it is how I look at the subject.

T said...

I would hope that my husband's example influences my daughters as they someday choose the kind of man they commit themselves to - I would hope that my own example will influence my sons as well...

I have to wonder if there is a higher divorce rate for moms of daughters just because of all the "a boy needs his dad" hype... or in some situations that their own abuse will become child abuse...

Keep influencing those boys for good - because all of us girl moms (wait, I have both...) are hoping that someone is raising valiant young men.

ziongal said...

I'm with you. My boys know in no uncertain terms how I expect them to treat whoever they end up with in life.

I've also tried my best to teach them to not let a woman walk all over them.

My job has been tough as their biological father is one of those "screw them before they can screw you" kind of people. It's been a long road. I hope I succeed.

Karen said...

Is there room on that soapbox for the two of us? Because I'm with you on this. All.The.Way.

And another thing - why can't those women show their daughters what a committed relationship is? So your marriage isn't the best - MAKE IT THAT. Don't show your daughter that leaving is the best option. Show her how to work at a relationship. Show her how to put her husband first. Show her that it's hard work, but so totally worth it. Your daughter will appreciate you for that someday.

Stepping off the soap box now. Sorry if I stole some thunder.

Iqra said...

That's an admirable goal as a mother. I try to do the same thing as a sister, because if I take too much crap from my brother without telling him to back off or pointing out where he went wrong, then I'll teach him that it's the woman's job to shut up and take it.